Comcast Abandons Fox And Is Focusing Its Efforts On Sky

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Comcast has abandoned its offer for Twenty-First Century Fox’s entertainment assets, handing a victory to The Walt Disney Company, which is now the sole bidder for the assets. Last week’s move dealt a blow to The Children’s Investment Fund, which urged Fox to keep Comcast in the bidding war.

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Q2 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc

Comcast abandons Fox
By Comcast [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Instead, Comcast said Thursday that it will focus its efforts on its proposal for Sky; Fox and Comcast are both fighting to acquire the British broadcaster. A couple of weeks ago, Fox upped its offer to 24.5 billion pounds, prompting Comcast to sweeten its bid to 26 billion pounds.

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Comcast’s interest in Sky has provided shareholders with an increased bid from Fox, just as they requested. Since last year, activist investors Odey Asset Management, Jupiter Asset Management, and Polygon Global Partners have been pushing Fox to increase its offer for Sky, contending the company is worth at least 11.7 billion pounds.

Elliott Management and Taconic Capital Advisors are also invested in Sky but have yet to indicate their intentions.

What we'll be watching for this week

  • Will former CEO Eric Owens gain control of Alexandria Minerals’ board at its special meeting Tuesday?
  • Will shareholders of Shanghai Turbo support former director Liu Ming’s push for board refreshment at the company’s special meeting Tuesday?
  • Will investors elect Fame Dragon International’s five-person slate to the board of Titan Petrochemicals at the group’s annual meeting Thursday?

Activist shorts update

Quoth the Raven has joined GeoInvesting in its bet against Natural Health Trends, predicting the company’s stock will likely drop to zero. Run by longstanding GeoInvesting writer Chris Irons, Quoth the Raven came to prominence as a vocal critic of Herbalife.

Two years ago, GeoInvesting revealed that Natural Health’s Beijing office was shut down. Quoth the Raven said Wednesday that the office was likely closed because of an ongoing police investigation into illegal selling and smuggling, adding that the last time a situation like this arose the company “went to pennies.”

Natural Health denied the allegations, noting that it is unware of any probe into the company.

“Should we learn of any material information regarding this allegation, we will promptly notify the investment community,” Chris Sharng, the company’s president, said in a statement.

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Chart of the week

U.S.-headquartered companies publicly subjected to board-related activist demands between January 1 and July 20.

Comcast abandons Fox

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